“Networking doesn’t work?” I hear you cry!! Now, before you all comment saying that I’m talking rubbish, let me explain my thinking.
Networking is part of the overall marketing strategy in a business…yes? Well, that’s the key. It is a strategy and should be approached in the right way. It should have a purpose. It should yield a return on investment…yes? Do you attend each meeting with a specific goal in mind? Do you know what you want to achieve out of your networking?
There are many networking groups that work well for certain business types, that I do believe. But if your target market is more specific and specialised, then surely it’s only good business sense to join a networking group that’s filled with your target market?
When did you last analyse your networking activity? What worked well and what didn’t? How has your business benefited from your networking activity? When did you last gain business at a networking event? I know networking is a two-way street but people have commented to me lately that their recent experience has been rooms filled with people selling and not enough people buying.
There are a myriad of networking groups out there; weekly morning groups, fortnightly lunchtime groups, monthly evening groups, etc. You have to try a few to see which ones are likely to work best for you and your business. Networking can be expensive, especially if you’re a member of a few different groups, so you have to make it work for you.
Here are my top ten tips for networking:
So, as 2013 comes to a close and 2014 is just around the corner, perhaps it’s time to analyse your networking activity as part of your whole business strategy. We all want to build rapport with other business owners, build solid relationships but let’s face it, we’re all in business to earn money…yes? So, if your networking strategy isn’t working for you then perhaps it’s time for a change?